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Things to do in the French Riviera

Things to do in  French Riviera

Welcome to French Riviera

Along the southern coast of France, between Provence and the Mediterranean Sea, is an area known as the French Riviera. This collection of seaside resort towns is famous for its gorgeous scenery, laid-back lifestyle, sandy beaches, boutique shopping, and beautiful people. The French Riviera, or Côte d'Azur, as it's more technically known, stretches from St-Tropez in the east all the way to the French-Italian border. The biggest city is Nice, and other popular destinations include Cannes, home to a famous annual film festival; Antibes, where visitors can see Roman ruins; the pretty hilltop town of Eze; and the independent city-state of Monaco. Spend time strolling the beachfront promenades, people watching from sidewalk cafés, or soaking up the sun on the beach. If you're looking for a taste of the high life, charter a private yacht from Cannes, fly over Nice in a helicopter, or get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or Ferrari. While cities along this pretty coast are popular day trip destinations on their own, they're also good bases for exploring other parts of Provence. Travelers can head into the hills to explore the town of Grasse and its Fragonard perfumery, or see the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard in Verdon Gorge. It's even possible to spend a day shopping in some charming Italian markets on a day trip from Cannes or Nice.

Top 15 attractions in French Riviera


With its twisting cobblestone lanes, jumble of medieval houses, and shady courtyards lined with traditional cafés, Eze is a tranquil village high above the glamorous resorts and golden beaches of the Cote d’Azur. The hilltop town, traditionally written Èze, is undeniably picturesque, affording panoramic views over the Mediterranean, and its timeless charm has made it a firm favorite on French Riviera itineraries.More

Île Sainte-Marguerite

A 20-minute ferry ride across the waters of the Mediterranean Sea transports travelers from the high-class commotion of Cannes to the tranquil Île Sainte-Marguerite, a small island with more pine trees than people. Bring your walking shoes and your love for the great outdoors for the perfect day trip away from it all.More

Palais des Festivals et des Congrès

The colossal Film Festival Palace hosts high-profile media and business events, most notably, the Cannes Film Festival, which draws movie stars and media from all over the world for two dizzying weeks in May. Its privileged location, across from the sun-kissed Boulevard de la Croisette and the Mediterranean Sea, is appropriately glamorous.More

Promenade des Anglais

A stylish walkway monopolizing four miles (six kilometers) along the Bay of Angels, the Walk of the English (Promenade des Anglais or La Prom) is a Nice icon offering stunning views, enticing pit stops, and the best people-watching in the city. Grab your bike, skates, or shoes—and don’t forget your swimsuit—for a sunny afternoon in Nice.More

Nice Old Town (Vieux Nice)

A honeycomb of narrow streets dotted with baroque churches, lively markets, bustling squares, and a thriving nightlife scene, Nice’s Old Town (Vieux Nice) remains the buzzing heart the modern French city. This seafront historic center offers an atmospheric introduction to Nice.More

Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon)

With its dramatic limestone cliffs and azure waters, the Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon) is one of the French Riviera's most delightful secrets. Escape the manicured glamour of St. Tropez and Cannes in favor of the canyon, which provides opportunities to swim, sail, sunbathe, and rock climb on routes that stretch as far as the eye can see.More

Picasso Museum (Musée Picasso)

One of the cultural highlights of the French Riviera, the Picasso Museum (Musée Picasso) is located in the heart of Antibes, between Cannes and Nice. Housed in the 14th-century Grimaldi Castle—where Picasso lived in 1946—the museum exhibits several hundred works by the modernist master.More

La Croisette Boulevard (Boulevard de la Croisette)

The beating heart of Cannes, La Croisette Boulevard (Boulevard de la Croisette) is an oceanfront promenade lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, and thronged with both vacationers and glamorous locals. Whether you’re stopping for lunch, dinner, or people-watching as you walk along, a stroll along this iconic street is a must-do for Cannes visitors.More

Port of Cannes (Port de Cannes)

With a picturesque location on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the Port of Cannes (Port de Cannes) is a gateway to both the cinematic glamor of Cannes and the rest of the beautiful French Riviera. Disembark here to explore the pretty town of Cannes itself or head to glitzy enclaves such as Monte Carlo, St-Tropez, and Eze.More

Cours Saleya Flower Market (Marché aux Fleurs Cours Saleya)

Nice's Cours Saleya Flower Market (Marché aux Fleurs Cours Saleya) is a veritable feast for the senses—floral fragrances rise in the air, vendors call out in French to mingling locals, and flower bouquets burst forth from every stall. Add the fresh produce market, sidewalk cafes, and weekly antiques fair, and it’s no wonder the market is a must while in Provence.More

Castle Hill (Colline du Château)

Rising up over the eastern end of Quai des États-Unis, the 300-foot Castle Hill (Colline du Château) affords fantastic views over the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Old Town of Vieux Nice, the Baie des Anges, and the glittering Côte d’Azur.More

Massena Square (Place Masséna)

If you're spending an even remotely significant amount of time in Nice, then you'll soon become familiar with Massena Square (Place Massena). It's the massive, open square at the bottom of L'avenue Jean-Médecin; just a little bit past it is Vieux Nice and the Mediterranean. Walk under the porticos in foul weather, or enjoy the sun on its wide walkways. It ends in a gorgeous fountain framed by faded cherry-red buildings, a favorite with photographers of any ability.In the daytime, Masséna Square is a busy pedestrian/tram intersection, and it can seem like barely controlled chaos as people scurry, stroll or simply hang out along its dizzyingly tiled surface. At night it's a bit less busy, but many are more distracted as the large human-like sculptures high atop poles change color like lava lamps!Massena Square is also the site for many of Nice's most popular events throughout the year, from Mardi Gras to Fete de la Musique concerts to summer outdoor markets, exhibitions and performances of all kinds. And at Christmas, it's transformed into a village with artisanal gifts, games for kids, delicious food stalls and even a Ferris wheel.More


Regularly ranked among France’s most beautiful villages, the medieval Gourdon is a sightseeing highlight of Provence’s craggy interior. Poised atop a dramatic, rocky spur, the village offers panoramic views stretching as far as the Mediterranean. Gourdon is also celebrated for its château and its elegant gardens.More

Port Vauban

The French Riviera reaches its glamorous pinnacle at Antibes' Port Vauban. Fortified by Louis XIV’s military engineer, Marquis de Vauban, in the 17th century, the harbor is now a hub for jetsetters and their superyachts. The port is home to the International Yacht Club Antibes, and is big enough to accommodate the record-breaking Dilbar superyacht.More

Chateau Font du Broc

Built on the Var heights between Esterel and the Gulf of St Tropez, the Château Font du Broc is set amid lush vegetation overlooking the sea. The grounds of this impressive wine farm are sprawled out over 250 acres that encompass vineyards and olive trees – and even an Olympic-sized arena for horses.Producing both wine and olive oil, the owner of Château Font du Broc, Sylvain Massa, insists on organic and traditional farming methods and restricts the volume of wine produced in order to ensure its quality.Although the beautiful surroundings and the building’s architecture are high points for some visitors to Château Font du Broc, for others it’s simply all about sampling the delicious wines. The tasting room welcomes visitors and sampling the local vintage is positively encouraged, either on its own or with locally produced cheeses, meats and other delicacies.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Nice

How to Spend 3 Days in Nice

French Riviera Day Trips from Nice

French Riviera Day Trips from Nice

How to Spend 3 Days in Cannes

How to Spend 3 Days in Cannes

Provence Day Trips From Cannes

Provence Day Trips From Cannes

Monaco Tours from Cannes

Monaco Tours from Cannes

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Recent reviews from experiences in French Riviera

Riviera Tour
William_M, Oct 2022
The Best of the Riviera Small group Guided full Day Tour
It was a long day but we saw everything we wanted to see along the French Riviera.
Great activities for family & group of friends👍
iarellano2004, Oct 2022
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
2-4 days stay is recommended if you want to see the Best of French Riviera.
Kev_B, Oct 2022
Eze, Monaco & Monte Carlo from Nice from Nice
I this is the most efficient way to see all of the great spots on the French Riviera.
Victoria_F, Sep 2022
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
Fantastic spots to see along the French Riviera .
Megane was great!
Cooper_S, Sep 2022
French Riviera Cannes to Monte-Carlo Discovery Small Group Day Trip from Nice
Even on a rainy day, this was an excellent way to see a lot of the French Riviera.
CRISTINA_R, Aug 2022
Nice to St Tropez Ferry Ticket and Cruise
You get to see the beautiful French Riviera coast on the way to and back.
French Riviera Delights
Elsa_J, Aug 2022
French Riviera Cannes to Monte-Carlo Discovery Small Group Day Trip from Nice
I got to see all that the French Riviera has to offer.
Remarkable Sea Escapade
Lyly_P, Aug 2022
Ferry from Nice to Monaco
I cannot wait to visit this majestic city of Nice & the French Riviera again!
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